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Thread: TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

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    Lightbulb TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

    And here we go again, just when we thought they had learned their lesson, apparently what happens is they expect humanity has a short attention span.

    All it took was 9 years for memory of this fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico to fade..

    This time Chevron, one of the biggest Majors in some of the most polluted oil production areas of the world tells TransOcean, we wanna buy a new offshore deep drilling rig.



    STEINHAUSEN, Switzerland – Transocean Ltd. has signed a rig design and construction management contract, as well as a five-year drilling contract, with Chevron USA Inc. for one of its two dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

    The drilling contract has an estimated backlog of $830 million, excluding mobilization and reimbursables. The drilling contract is subject to design, construction, and delivery requirements set forth in the construction contract.

    The rig will be the first ultra-deepwater floater rated for 20,000 psi operations and is expected to begin operations in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2021.

    In the event of termination for convenience by Chevron, Transocean will be compensated for its incremental 20,000 psi subsea investment in the rig. Additionally, a termination for convenience occurring after April 2020, would result in a substantial termination fee.


    A 20,000 PSI rig means they intend to drill at least as deep as the Gulf of Mexico disaster with the same potential issues of a failed cement casing and the formation blowing out and everything within spewing out (until and if the well is shut-in and plugged)..

    Same pressures same depth same potential for blasting out as the earlier on the Macondo well for BP.

    This is worrisome.

    ref: https://www.chevron.com/stories/chev...scovery-in-Jan. 30, 2018 –


    Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) today announced a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico.


    Ballymore is located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, approximately three miles from Chevron’s Blind Faith platform, in water depth of 6,536 feet.


    The initial Ballymore well reached total measured depth of 29,194 feet and encountered more than 670 feet net oil pay with excellent reservoir and fluid characteristics. A sidetrack well is currently being drilled to further assess the discovery and begin to define development options.


    “The Gulf of Mexico deepwater is an integral part of our company’s long-term strategy,” said Jeff Shellebarger, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production. “This discovery is an important addition to our portfolio, especially with its combination of size, quality and proximity to existing infrastructure.”deepwater-gulf-of-mexico
    Where are they going to drill?


    Where else.. Gulf of Mexico once again. Who are they going to use, same drill-ship company. Who will do the cementing of the casing, Halliburton, Dick Cheney's favorite company?

    This is a disaster potentially being setup once again. There is once again no guarantees it won't blow out at that depth, or be drilled properly or the stem's casing cemented properly or operated safely.

    Between 50 - 100 miles off the coast of the Louisiana shores.

    Remember where fishing, shrimping happens in the Gulf? Is that nice oily taste unique and great? (satire)

    Take a look at this map to show the potential disaster areas within the existing fields and where the new 'discovery' will be drilled:

    Last edited by Bob; 24th January 2019 at 17:05.

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    Default Re: TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

    Corexit? So many people died, and probably are still dying. Famous spokespersons very ill and disappeared.
    Will noone ever learn? Geological vandalism for profit striking again? Same as potential offshore deep explosives in the Atlantic. This has to be stopped 😡😡😡
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
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    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to avid For This Post:

    Bob (24th January 2019), justntime2learn (25th January 2019), Nasu (24th January 2019)

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    Default Re: TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

    It has to be talked about with those who care

    Lobbying all over the appropriate focus groups.

    They won't stop until it becomes uneconomical for them..

    TransOcean is gonna get about 850 million $ US for their party..

    Nobody gonna stop them, it's capitalism you see. Without any concern about environment consequences..

    Bad enough we have insurmountable pollution issues from hydrocarbon burning, flaring, coal... kill the food sources so that regular folk who need to live from the sea's bounty, or the farming near the shores cannot any more..

    Who wins? Who looses?

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    Default Re: TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

    Bob , thanks for your excellent technical expertise -- yet again .
    I have a couple of questions ;
    Do you really think that TPIP are so stupid and incompetent that they would not utterly eliminate previous design flaws with some of the most conservative performance safety thresholds ever embedded into the project ? I have avoided usual jokes about the necessity for serious projects to be kept far away from American involvement !
    If you ran the US and only now held 10% of the planet's known oil reserves , wouldn't you have to continue aggressive but not reckless exploration but with a near 100% improvement in all aspects ,including those very areas you identify?

    And more frivolous . Suppose you had no intention of ever finishing this project? It simply was a short term 'infra-structure' project to further underwrite continuing short term high employment , suggest and show positive and decisive future planning and provide a boost to a currently depressed investment area ?
    In fact , Let's double the budget based on this post !!

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    Default Re: TransOcean building another "deepwater horizon" like drillship

    Quote Posted by ripple (here)
    Bob , thanks for your excellent technical expertise -- yet again .
    I have a couple of questions ;
    Do you really think that TPIP are so stupid and incompetent that they would not utterly eliminate previous design flaws with some of the most conservative performance safety thresholds ever embedded into the project ? I have avoided usual jokes about the necessity for serious projects to be kept far away from American involvement !
    If you ran the US and only now held 10% of the planet's known oil reserves , wouldn't you have to continue aggressive but not reckless exploration but with a near 100% improvement in all aspects ,including those very areas you identify?

    And more frivolous . Suppose you had no intention of ever finishing this project? It simply was a short term 'infra-structure' project to further underwrite continuing short term high employment , suggest and show positive and decisive future planning and provide a boost to a currently depressed investment area ?
    In fact , Let's double the budget based on this post !!
    Hi Ripple once again, excellent questions and observations - thanks !

    I'll offer some personal experience with the energy industry. I've been personally exposed to them, the big drillers, the majors, small operators, on-shore and off-shore. For me I would say 12 years, not that long for the old-timers working in the fields for 30-40 years.. BUT... enough for me to see where some major problems don't get easily safely and reliably solved..

    Design flaws being rectified from last disaster:

    The oil/gas industry is plagued with disaster after disaster, and the worst disasters come from drilling under high pressures.

    We just don't normally think about the effects of pressure until when one goes down from earth's surface at sea level (from about 14 pounds per square inch applied to our bodies) and into deep water.

    At the surface, the weight of the air is squeezing us. But getting into the water, that is another story - One can notice one's ears needing to be popped, and that one's lungs feel tightly pressed upon. The weight of the water now presses on every point of our bodies.

    And, as one drills deeper into the earth, the temperature rises to above 150 degrees C and greater too, and because of all the massive amount of rock mass pressing down into the oil formation (if present), one finds that the pressure is eager to be released, quite violently, (from the zone containing product).

    If there are fractures opened while drilling those become "holes" which will provide pathways back up to the surface. Pressurized liquids or gas will also travel up the drilling tools and casings and pipes, right back up to the surface.. So something in that pipe has to overcome the pressures in the formation. It is complicated.

    Like shaking a bottle of warm soda pop, the moment the pressure is released, any dissolved gases get released. Not to mention the pocket itself is being pushed on from all sides. A gas bump in a formation can cause a type of "water hammer" (remember what it sounds like when in an old house, one turns on a water faucet and rapidly closes, it, a HAMMER sound happens, and the pipes shake), and that hammer effect can blow everything apart because it's not a little pressure and liquid surge - it is MASSIVE.

    When they say that the drill ship equipment will withstand 20,000 pounds per square inch pressure, they really emphasise that the drilling tools will have to withstand that, and not suffer from an accident, or a metal fatigue.. or break down operating under 7000 feet of water depth too.

    At the surface 14 pounds per square inch is applied to our bodies. (So if we go upwards into a vacuum of space, our bodies expand rapidly), but going down the water compresses... At 7000 feet down where a lot of these deep-water wells reach the bottom of the seabed, the equipment is subjected to about 3034.6 pounds per square inch over every coupling, every part, every joint. Any failure there in the drilling rig's components and there is a potential for a major disaster.

    Some wells potentially could be over 11,000 feet of water. (11,156 is the current mark), and the pressure at that depth is 4769 pounds per square inch.. Now this is where it gets insane as far as pressure issues.. When a well is started, a blow-out-protector absolutely has to be installed and be perfectly operating at the sea-bottom depth.. And the blow-out-protector must be demonstrated and certified to withstand the maximum pressures potentially present coming back up the drill pipe as the immense machinery drills into the rock below the seabed..

    Drilling around 20,000 feet into the seabed, with 11,000 feet of water is very dangerous, and hardly safe. As pointed out anything can and often goes wrong where the drilling pipe seizes in the hole, where it binds so hard that the pipe is literally twisted off and somehow has to be fished out, or the well plugged with an immense weight of drilling mud, and sealed with water-proof-concrete before the below pressures, manage to seep out in fractures along the drilling path. Depending on the formations, there is no guarantee that the well bore will be a clean nice hole without the surrounding rock and materials collapsing and seizing up the drilling tool.

    The tools have to be replaced as they aren't forever life span tools. Like any drilling bit that we may be familiar with, depending on the wear that is encountered a tool can fail and need to be replaced. Replacing a tool at let's say 10,000 feet down plus 10,000 feet into the seabed's rock, is very hard to do.. Then getting a replacement back down there and not having a cave-in of the drilling column.

    A casing has to be placed in the upper portion of the seabed, then a smaller pipe and smaller pipe, and each are supposed to be properly cemented in. (The Macando blowout resulted from poor cementing due to vibration of the well's core - the cement did not adhere properly to make a good seal and pressure from below was able to bypass the well). A proper blow-out protector would not protect from a catastrophic failure of the sealing system down deep.

    Deep sea drilling is a disaster just waiting for any slip-up or any part failure, or the well itself caving in. Off Israel, Nobel energy had a lot of off-shore deep-sea drilling in the Leviathan fields for natural Gas. Israel wants to be energy self sufficient, and having their own gas-wells is a solution they feel. During drilling with the failure of the drilling, about 150,000 barrels of natural gas condensate was released into the sea. Nobel felt that wasn't a bad amount to have an accident with, and just considered it a cost of doing business.

    Condensate is like liquefied natural gas or liquid propane - visualize a tank of liquid propane being punctured and then lit and the flames lighting up - now to put that in perspective, 1 barrel of oil equals 42 fluid gallons - multiply that out, and 6,300,000 gallons of highly combustible and toxic material was put into the sea. One's barby would have a container of about 5 gallons of that gas. That IS a pretty big release. And it can easily become worse..

    Operating at depth requires special undersea vehicles able to not break or fail. Then transporting fixes down to the disaster site is likewise hard to do. Anything special needs to be fabricated based on the nature of the disaster and then gotten there in a very timely manner. How can that actually be done? Not easily and not cost effectively.. And as Avid pointed out the toxic dispersal substances (corexit is one of them) used to hide the released product from the well formation is a disaster for the environment..

    As to your question on energy reserves and obtaining them.. Good question

    Today the US military put out an all points request to industry to build very small portable clean nuclear power plants for vehicles, for base-camps.. The military knows oil and natural gas is a ludicrous adventure, and there are no guarantees that vehicles will continue to be run by hydrocarbons.. It is just too unstable a commodity to be relied on.

    I pointed out there is a set of suppressed energy technology, from clean fusion, to "nuclear power packs that generate heat safely and cleanly" that could drive "heat to electricity" on-the-spot generators; a concept that is not requiring high voltage power transmission long lines (which is an archaic dangerous practice established by the Edison mindset at the turn of the 20th century).. the "Edison mindset" was energy must be metered, never free, and people should be squeezed/milked for every nickle come hell and high water, people would forever be slaves guided by the "elite".. quite the opposite of Tesla's beliefs who wanted Power for the People.

    De-centralization concepts using fuels which can provide clean energy of 10,000 years.. Much better than oil.. Oil and gas manipulators who speculate on shortages, take immense environmental risks (which can't easily be guaranteed to be safe).. they would prefer to suppress the alternatives, and maintain darkness across the world.
    Last edited by Bob; 26th January 2019 at 12:51.

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